After getting a scholarship offer from Baylor two months ago, Abilene Wylie linebacker-safety Clay Johnston did a lot of soul searching before making his decision.
Late Tuesday night, Johnston concluded Baylor was his best option and made his verbal commitment. He’s the 11th commitment in Baylor’s 2015 class.
“I’ve always been interested in Baylor,” Johnston said. “I love how caring the coaching staff is. Coach (Phil) Bennett and Coach (Art) Briles are great people. Coach Briles has things headed in the right direction. They’ve already won a Big 12 title, and now he’s harping on how they want to bring a national championship to Baylor.”
The 6-2, 200-pound Johnston expects to play either nickelback or linebacker for the Bears. A three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Johnston got considerable attention from college scouts after making the Class 3A all-state team as a junior last season.
He’s anxious to play in Bennett’s defense that emphasizes speed.
“I love how Baylor’s defense doesn’t hesitate – they play fast and get the job done,” Johnston said. “They think I can cover a lot of ground with my speed.”
Johnston said he missed most of his sophomore football season after an accident on an off-road vehicle in the summer of 2012.
“I didn’t really play a lot because I lost a chunk of my leg in an accident,” Johnston said. “I was driving about 50 mph and I hit a bump that took me out of the vehicle, and the frame slammed on my leg. I had to get a skin graft.”
Johnston said he got back into shape with the help of his dad, Kent Johnston, the strength and conditioning coach for the San Diego Chargers.
“Training with my dad, I got back the strength I had lost,” Johnston said. “Missing games in 2012 totally set back my recruiting, but I had good fall (in 2013).”
With a tremendous performance in a variety of drills at the Nike SPARQ camp in DeSoto on April 5, Johnston began getting more attention from recruiters. Johnston chose Baylor over Texas Tech, SMU and Duke.